The Railway Board has instructed zones and sheds to scrap only those electric locomotives that are unfit on the basis of age AND condition. Locos should not be scrapped just because they have exceeded their codal lives, according to senior officials.
Locomotives are generally removed from service and scrapped after being active for 35 years. However, the board has asked zones to ensure that all overaged locos comply with safety checks and maintenance procedures.
With electrified territory rapidly increasing, IR will need to ensure it has enough electric locos to handle the increasing volume of traffic under wires. As of now, a fleet of more than 7,100 electrics is in service on the network.
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Locomotive manufacturing units CLW, CLW Dankuni, DLW and DMW combined were to produce 725 units in each of the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22. Another 200 units of WAG-12B are likely to be produced in the Alstom Madhepura factory in the same duration.
It is unclear if this production programme will be adhered to in the wake of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, the ministry has also asked Indian Railways to come up with a plan to scrap over 2,500 diesel locomotives. As of August 2020, IR holds 5,476 diesel units. With over large areas switching to electric traction over the past few years, zones have been reporting high surplus diesel locos in their holdings.
100% Electrification on Indian Railways
As of 1st April 2020, nearly 40,000 kilometres of Indian Railways network was electrified.
Indian Railways plans to electrify 100% of its network by the end of 2023. The Central Organization for Railway Electrification plans to electrify around 4,000 km of route this financial year.
This excludes work that may be awarded or under execution by other agencies.
100% Electrification Plan
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